Security experts have warned that most relationship dating apps are leaking information that can be easily picked up by hackers.
The main method dating apps are leaking information is through exposing the user’s location to anyone using the app. An example of this is with the app ‘Grinder’ which reveals the users exact location and distance from the user. This can be very precise and can even pinpoint how many feet away the user is.
By allowing their data and location to be so open, the users could be susceptible to stalking, harassment or persecution, as well as becoming a target for hackers. Researchers have found that hackers can send the relationship dating app ‘spoofing requests’ to the servers which enables them to track the user’s movements during the day.
Some relationship dating apps have acknowledged this loophole and started to fix the vulnerability, however there are still many others that haven’t.
The researchers Colby Moore and Patrick Wardle commented that “the proof-of-concept attack works by abusing a location-sharing function. The feature allows a user to know when other users are close by. The programming interface that makes the information available can be hacked by sending rapid queries that falsely supply different locations of the requesting user. By using three separate fictitious locations, an attacker can map the other users’ precise location using the mathematical process known as trilateration.”
The BBC has reported that “while exploiting the loophole was not straightforward, there was evidence that it was being abused in Egypt to harass some dating app users.”